Description: A seasoned New York State Assemblyman in the summer of 1914, Al Smith wrote to then-Governor Martin Glynn in an attempt to persuade him to include Smith's former secretary and clerk, Jonah Goldstein, on a new State Commission: "My Dear Governor, Three months ago when I spoke to you about Jonah J. Goldstein for membership in the commission to investigate the feeble minded I understood from what you said that my man was all right and I so informed him. he is one of the up lift crowd that speaks for me every year. and from the list you gave me of possible appointments you are nameing all the other kind. please give him another look over." At the conclusion of this plea, he signed off with his full name, "Very Sincerely, Alfred E. Smith"
The appointment in question was to the five person "State Commission to investigate Provision for the Care of the Mentally Deficient," established by Chapter 272 of the Laws of 1914. It met for the first time in New York City on July 29, 1914 and provided its report to the State Senate on February 15, 1915. Smith's campaign on Goldstein's behalf was unsuccessful, and he was not appointed to participate.
Written in black ink on a single page of letterhead, with "State of New York. Assembly Chamber" preprinted at the top, along with an image of the State Seal and "Albany, _____ 190__" Smith drew a 1 through that preprinted 0 when dating his letter in 1914. Measures approximately 11" x 8.5" and has a few marks at the top associated with record keeping: it is marked "file" in pencil/crayon, a "212-9" is written at top right, and it is stamped "Jul 21 1914" Item #A01145
Alfred E. Smith (1873-1944) left school after the eighth grade to help support his family. He got his start in political life by doing unofficial jobs for the Tammany Hall machine, then rising through the ranks while avoiding being tarnished by the corruption Tammany was known for. He was a progressive New York State Assemblyman from 1904-1915, before returning to New York City for three years as Sheriff and President of the Board of Aldermen. He served as Governor of New York from 1919-1920 and 1923-1928, and was the Democratic nominee for President of the US in 1928.
Jonah J. Goldstein (1886-1967) was committed to community service and activism, particularly within the Jewish community. As a young attorney in New York, he helped to found a law firm and (unsuccessfully) defended Margaret Sanger and others, arrested for operating a contraceptive clinic. Acting as a Judge from 1931-1956, he was also a candidate for Mayor of New York in 1945.
Martin H. Glynn (1871-1924) was a lawyer and journalist who served a term in the US Congress before returning to New York to act as State Comptroller. He was promoted to Governor from his position as Lieutenant Governor when William Sulzer was impeached and removed from office. Glynn continued his journalism career concurrently with his political one, and became editor, publisher, and owner of the Albany Times Union newspaper, which he sold to William Randolph Hearst in 1924.
Condition: Several small chips and short tears at the edges of the paper, some of which have been repaired on the verso with archival tissue/tape. A bit of light soil/toning. Generally in very good condition, and would look great framed.